Giving a name to what is unspeakable
Giving a name to what we do not want to see in our communities and in our Church
A two-day online course on the theme of “Speaking the Unspeakable” led by Sister Ianire Angulo Ordorika took place. More than 450 men and women religious and lay people participated. Most of them involved, in different ways, in the prevention of abuse of every form and type.
The speaker pointed out those conditions in religious life which, not only can encourage abuse, but contribute to not letting it emerge and be “spoken” about, hence turning it into not only a psychological and spiritual problem, but a systemic one too.
One of the most delicate points is precisely the relationship with the victims, who "do not speak when they want, but when they can". The risk is to re-victimize people with attitudes or words that, gratuitously and, often, unknowingly, bring even more pain to the victims.
Many comments and questions from the participants: recognizing the need in congregations to lift the veil on dynamics and practices that favour different forms of abuse. Additionally, it emerged the importance of formation at different levels: in particular of superiors and formators.
The commitment of the UISG in recent years has been great, as the mission of the Commission for Safeguarding explains: "Our mission is to be at the service of men and women in congregational leadership to provide support and training in the field of protection. We focus on the many aspects of abuse that can occur including sexual, spiritual and psychological."
We closed the course with a wish that "in consecrated life we learn to build structures together that allow women who enter our congregations to be free and compliant people with what God dreams for us."
Who is Sr. Ianire?
Born in Bilbao in 1976. She is a religious Slaves of the Most Holy Eucharist and of the Mother of God. She obtained a Licentiate in Theology of Religious Life at the Pontifical University of Salamanca and a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Comillas Pontifical University. On the same theme and in the same university she also obtained a PhD in 2018.
Currently, she teaches Theology and Sacred Scripture in Granada, where she lives.
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